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What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ?

In order for our faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. To have faith in Jesus Christ means to trust Him and obey His commandments. Faith is much more than passive belief. We express our faith through action—by the way we live.

Prepare yourself spiritually

As you prepare, prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What examples of faith from the scriptures and lives of others could you share with the young women?

James 1:5–6; 2:14–20 (Faith is belief and action)

Alma 32:21, 26–43 (Faith is hope for things that are true but not seen)

Moroni 7:33–41 (Miracles are wrought by faith)

Esther 4–5; Hebrews 11:4–9, 17–29Alma 19; 56:45–48; 57:21; Ether 12:6–22Joseph Smith—History 1:11–19 (Examples of faith)

Bible Dictionary, “Faith

Quentin L. Cook, “In Tune with the Music of Faith,Ensign or Liahona, May 2012, 41–44

Marcus B. Nash, “By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2012, 99–101

Faith,” Young Women Personal Progress (2009), 13–20

Faith,” True to the Faith (2004), 54–56

Video: “Pure and Simple Faith,” “Courage”

Share experiences

At the beginning of each class, invite the young women to share, teach, and testify about the experiences they have had applying what they learned in the previous week’s lesson. This will encourage personal conversion and help the young women see the relevance of the gospel in their daily lives.

Introduce the doctrine

Choose from these ideas or think of your own to introduce this week’s lesson:

  • Draw a simple rowboat, and label it “Faith.” Add an oar labeled “Belief” and another labeled “Action.” Ask the young women what would happen to this boat if it had only one oar. What will happen to our faith if we do not act on what we believe? Use the scriptures, True to the Faith (pages 54–56), or the Bible Dictionary to help the young women understand what faith is and how this drawing relates to it.
  • Ask the young women to write down the name of a woman in the scriptures who showed great faith. Collect their papers. Read the names aloud, and invite the young women to tell the stories of these women.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the young women understand what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will be best for your class:

  • Invite the young women to read James 2:14–20 and identify the examples James uses to teach about the relationship between faith and works. Ask a few of them to summarize in their own words what James is teaching about faith. Give the young women time to think about examples or analogies they could use to teach this to others.
  • Invite the young women to complete one of the Faith value experiences in the Personal Progress book (in groups or individually). Invite each young woman to share something she learned from her study about faith that will help her prepare for her roles as a daughter of God, including those of wife and mother.
  • Ask each young woman to find and share a story from the scriptures in which someone acted on his or her belief in Jesus Christ (see, for example, Esther 4; Mark 5:25–34; Hebrews 11:4–9, 17–291 Nephi 4; Alma 19:16–29Ether 12:11–22). Invite the young women to also write down an experience in which they or someone they know exercised faith in Jesus Christ. Ask each young woman to share the story she found in the scriptures and the experience she wrote about. Consider showing the video “Courage” as part of this activity.
  • Ask the young women to read “Go Forward with Faith” from For the Strength of Youth and look for words and phrases that strengthen their faith to live the Lord’s standards. How does their faith influence their ability to live the gospel?
  • Ask the young women to read the first three paragraphs of Elder Marcus B. Nash’s talk “By Faith All Things Are Fulfilled,” and invite each young woman to write a one-sentence definition of faith, based on what she read. Ask them to read the story about Ann Rowley from Elder Nash’s talk and identify what Sister Rowley believed and how she acted on her belief. Invite them to share what they find and any experiences they have had that demonstrate the power of faith.
  • Invite the young women to read Matthew 17:20, and ask them what they think it means to move mountains with our faith. Share the following statement from Bishop Richard C. Edgley: “I have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith I have seen a mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism. Because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith I have personally witnessed a mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes, I have seen mountains removed” (“Faith—the Choice Is Yours,Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2010, 33). Show the video “Pure and Simple Faith,” and ask the young women to look for mountains that were removed through faith (or share an experience of your own).

Ask the young women to share what they learned today. Do they understand what it means to have faith in Jesus Christ? What feelings or impressions do they have? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be helpful to spend more time on this doctrine?

Live what we are learning

Invite the young women to consider how they will live by what they have learned today. For example, they could:

  • Teach someone else about faith (such as a younger brother or sister or a friend).
  • Look for examples of faith in the scriptures as they study the gospel on their own and follow these examples in their own lives.